How Bad Was It?

December 21st, 2021

Terrible non-adjustments.

It was so bad…

Well, Joe will put it like this: Unless Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich is able to turn his banged-up offense around and light up the Stinking Panthers twice and the awful Jets (it is doable), the loud chatter last week you heard and read about Leftwich being the top candidate to succeed Urban Meyer in Jacksonville will quickly be yesterday’s news if it isn’t already.

The Bucs offense on Sunday was historically bad. Even for a team with an offense that wilts like a scared puppy against the big, bad slimy Saints.

How bad was it? Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune has the jarring facts that Joe simply finds hard to fathom.

This is just absolutely inexcusable.

Yes, yes, yes. Mike Evans, Leonard Fournette and Chris Godwin were hurt. But not for the whole game. Leftwich simply did not adjust or adjust quickly enough when he was dealt the hand he had to play with in the second half.

That’s on Leftwich. Why did he have Brady throw multiple bombs when the Bucs only needed a yard to convert for a first down and extend a drive? Brady is one of the best quarterbacks at sneaks. (Or did Brady check to those plays himself?) Hell, on one of those bombs with a yard needed for a first down, the slimy Saints left Ryan Jensen unguarded!

That’s the biggest question Joe has for Leftwich, why did he go for low-percentage shots than high-percentage sneaks?

Of course, Joe has learned some time ago Leftwich does not like direct questions, especially when he’s asked to explain bonehead moves.

40 Responses to “How Bad Was It?”

  1. Derek Says:

    Puzzling night of play-calling for sure Joe

  2. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    I don’t like the blame on Leftwich for the deep throws on short yardage downs. Brady decides where that football goes. He read the coverages. He made the throw. Leftwich indeed turned to the run after WRs got injured, then lost his RB. What do you want him to adjust? Rojo’s mental state? Dardens complete lack of experience and ability to run NFL level routes? Tyler Johnson’s brick hands and feet?
    Brady was awful all on his own last night. He was timid towards risky throws until it was a situation where he thought he could catch them off guard. Bad decisions, and lack of decisions at times. Last thing he wanted to do was throw picks against that defense again, when really the last thing we needed that night was for the goat to suddenly get gun shy when we needed him most.

  3. Mike pizzoli Says:

    Yes Brady wasn’t his best but there were 10 drops and terrible pass protection last night, that was also the worst game of gronks career easily

  4. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Like it or not, RoJo was effective when given opportunities- the problem was, the Bucs didn’t call his number enough.
    Not saying he should replace Fournette as starter, but the circumstances of the game dictated the Bucs should run the ball. Darden, Miller and Johnson weren’t going to get it done against the Saints’ secondary and Gronk had a poor game.
    You’ve got to play with the best players you have and RoJo was the better option after the injuries and considering the D the Saints were playing(tight coverage and pressuring Brady)
    Leftwich did not adjust and that performance by the offense was the worst I’ve seen since Glennon was QB.

  5. Delusional Intelligence Says:

    I remember talking to a friend before the game, who is a slimy ‘aints fan. He thought it was going to be a blow out. I remembered something Joe has mentioned several times on the Ira Kaufman Podcast. I believe it is a quote from Michael Lombardi;

    “Never underestimate the power of egos”

    My response was “I would agree with you, but I have no idea what kind of game Leftwich is going to call. If he is trying to force a gameplan to apply for HC position we could be in for a tighter contest than most believe”.

    Regardless of the injuries we have a deep enough roster to adjust & execute. 3TE sets, no huddle, and forget about your WR screens. I sometimes think we don’t run the football, because Leftwich doesn’t know how to call them. Possibly a question for Goodie, our ‘Run Game Coordinator’ on how exactly run plays are selected for a particular game.

  6. Izod Says:

    Sorry, but this wasn’t a one off for Leftwich. If you take away the patsy defenses we’ve played, which great defense have we really lit up? The Bills had a very good, but not elite defense, yet after they shook off their 1st half hangover from the Patriots game, they absolutely shut the Bucs down in the 2nd half.

    It really is NOT a new thing. Even the elite defenses in this league are overmatched on paper against our offensive talent, yet the good defenses consistently shut us down. That is all about being outsmarted, outcoached, and outprepared…. lack of energy is something that is more applicable to the defensive side of the ball than offense.

  7. PassingThru Says:

    I couldn’t understand the playcalling as well. There were instances that the Bucs were advancing the ball on a dink and dunk and run plays, then inexplicably Brady would uncharacteristically throw a long pass that invariably killed the drive.

    As I said Sunday night, the words “Leftwich” and “Jacksonville” will no longer be used in the same sentence.

  8. Joe Says:

    “Never underestimate the power of egos”

    That’s actually Joe’s own quote! Learned that from covering the NFL. Not saying everyone is like this but it is astounding how some very powerful people in this league cannot see what fans can see each Sunday because they are blinded by their egos.

    Thanks for listening to Ira’s pod!!! 🙂

  9. Rod Munch Says:

    I’ve bashed Leftwich all year long, but picking out the 4th and nearly 2 and saying he should have had Brady do a QB sneak, come on. He threw a good ball to Gronk, who was then rap-d by the Saints player before the ball got there as the ref just sat there looking like an idiot, like he didn’t see the violation take place.

    If you want to bash Leftwich, which you should, it should be for the fact the idiot runs endless screens against zone defenses, then finally, he has a reason to run a ton of screens, to keep the Saints off-balance, and the dummy makes no in-game adjustments.

    Leftwich is not a good offensive coordinator. He’s running Arians system, the offense normally always does best on their opening few series that are all laid out with the help of Arians, then once the game gets going, unless Brady is audibling out of Leftwich’s poor calls, everything normally comes to a screeching halt. Yeah, best offense in football and we’re still leaving a bunch of points on the field because Leftwich isn’t that good.

    The best thing that could happen to this team would be for Leftwich to take a job somewhere else and have Arians calling the plays. But we know Arians has said he doesn’t want to do that and would rather retire. So we don’t want that either.

    In any case, this does seem to be a Saints centered problem, and hopefully we don’t see them again this season.

  10. Adrnagy Says:

    Where can i submit application for OC

  11. ChiBuc Says:

    Amen, Izod. Lefty has had the same game plan the entire season. The players are thriving on talent alone. In fact, look at last yr how pedestrian the offense looked until Brady got more influence over play calling.

    And stop trying to blame the subs (Rojo, Vaugn, Darden, Johnson), Lefty has had 2 or more yrs with most of them, he should know their skills and adjust accordingly. Better yet, coach them. Instead we see Darden running a post vs Latimore…leave that call for Evans/Brown and get a wr screen to Darden in a 3 te set. No deep calls on 1st down, no getting speedier rbs to the edge. Lefty just showed you why he didn’t get any interviews last off season. I pray jags get him, because I sure hope he’s not BA’s replacement.

  12. Medicated Pete Says:

    It’s all right. This team will have all new coaches & players soon.

  13. captivajim Says:

    I don’t think its a saints centered problem; In the last 100 minutes of football we have scored ONE td and total of 9 points ..we dam near lost the Buffalo game=thanx only to 2 defensive stops…

    we had all the weapons( ME, CG, Lenny) in 2nd half of Bills game & scored 3 pts and 0 pts in 1st half against saints..

  14. unbelievable Says:

    Maybe ask offensive coordinator Halfwit-ch why he felt it was smart to throw 12x in a row to start the game against one of the better pass defense see in the league? The same defense that has single handidly intercepted our quarterback more than anyone else…

    Is it his hubris? Or is he just not very good at his job?

    Because we’ve yet to see him call a good game against any good defenses.

  15. unbelievable Says:

    Maybe ask Halfwit-ch why he plans the same game plan (all passes) every time against the Saints, when it fails and puts them in an early hole every single game?

  16. unbelievable Says:

    In the last 6 quarters of regulation… this offense has scored 3 points.

    3 points in 6 quarters!

  17. BucsCoolade Says:

    Brady shut out.. seems impossible.

    But really what’s impossible is a 40 something playing at the top of the league.. kinda freaky so this was a correction game with many injuries. Ouchy

    The other reality is how brutal this game can be. Bucs fans were kinda giddy this year..

    wakey wakey, but still better record than last year. That said.. the specific injuries knock them down a bit. Next guy to bring in…?

    Lefty gotta call lichty..;)

  18. bucschamp Says:

    that 4&1 was shiite

  19. firethecannons Says:

    not only did leftwich call these plays(so many high risk plays) over and over but Brady did not say no–he has said no before–Brady went along with it! Arians was on the sideline and he is clearly sedated now–expressionless. WTF– they tossed this game and I truly hope to never see Leftwich coaching any team–not good enough! Why was Vaughn in on 4th and 1? so many unexcusable mistakes, this team is very bad 10-4 w/L may not look bad but we suck! Better figure it out because every team smells blood in the water and our team is bleeding out now.

  20. ModHairKen Says:

    It was one bad night. If Shad Khan makes another precipitous coaching decision based on this Offense’s production instead of considering a coach’s ability to coach, he will be Snyder Junior.

    As for the Bucs, they will fix this.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    Earth to the drama queens…. The Bucs won a Super Bowl ladt year, are one game out from the best record in the NFL this year, have the best rated offense in the NFL but lose a game where almost all their starting skill players are injured, to a team that always beats them… and all of a sudden it’s all because Coach Leftwich is a horrible coach. When the Bucs are winning and performing well he doesn’t deserve any credit. It’s all on Brady and the talent. But when the team performs poorly it’s all on him. One would think he dropped 9 catchable balls and not Gronk. Did he instruct Brady to fumble away the ball and take sacks at critical times? How many times did he not block Cam Jordan and Marcus Davenport? I hope he stays in Tampa and continues to lead this offense but he has more than earned his consideration for head coaching jobs, and anyone willing to discount everything the Bucs have accomplished yet deny him a job based on one game has no clue how to pick a Coach.

  22. firethecannons Says:

    No way does any team hire leftwich for even the gatorade maker on a team, he was that bad and nothing will ever change the fact that he lost us this game to the saints–it has been many seasons of losing to that team and leftwich is woefully unprepared on how to deal with them–he should ask for help as he is outmatched and incapable of preparing a winning gameplan. Tom Brady should of said no many times over–say “no asshole I’m not going to run your sht plays that will lose us another game to these asssholes the saints!”

  23. Anonymous Says:

    Riddle me this? What head coach could Jacksonville hire who has never lost a game, had an opponent blow out their team before, had a team suffer multiple injuries to key starters and get beat? Ofcourse if the coaching candidate is of a particular hue I guess he has to be absolutely perfect to get hired and can never lose a game if he wants to retain the job. Pretty high standard for anyone to meet much less an up and coming young coach taking over a bad team. I would sincerely hope all owners opinions are not reflective of many of the comments here.

  24. Eckwood Says:

    Can this team really not work on a Brate, Howard and Gronk on the field jumbo 10 to 15 play play list ,,, just inexcusable as well as allowing RoJo to not be game ready / in shape !!!

  25. Armybucfan Says:

    The whole game I saw blatant holding penalties on the saints o-line and secondary. There was at PI on the saints defender, the hit on Godwin should of been a penalty, they held Barrett all night. This game bought fellas, or let’s say the refs were bought because they weren’t calling a damn thing all night.

  26. Rob In Land O Lakes Says:

    In the whole, “Whose fault is it, anyway”… Yes, Brady certainly has the option to change the play. Here’s the issue. Going from Evans, Godwin and Fournette in about two series, to Tyler Johnson, Jaelom Darden and Rojo/Vaughn SEVERELY limits Brady’s ability to audible. Yes, these guys are professionals and they should know the playbook, but what they don’t know is the sight adjustments and option routes Brady prefers. They get at best 20% of the practie snaps, if that.

    This limits Brady to pretty much sticking with what is called (unless he checks into a run). This is TOTALLY on Leftwich. Even down three huge guys, our offensive coordinator should be able to get us 10 points at home. Not asking alot here.

  27. WillieG Says:

    Maybe at the subconscious level, BL doesn’t want to be a head coach, so he’s torpedoing his chances. LOL

  28. DG060 Says:

    This team is trending DOWNWARDDDDD.

  29. gotbbucs Says:

    Our offense doesn’t pass the eye test for me even on a good day.

  30. JayWill Says:

    Byron gets the blame when things go wrong and Brady gets the praise when things goes right. Byron wasn’t out there dropping passes Gronk was. Brady has the right to audible, he could of ran a qb he chose not too.
    Brady made the decision to throw it deep when he could of went underneath. Nothing happens without Brady okay. This lost was on the players getting they ass beat up front. Cappa’s play had more to do with the loss than Byron’s playcalling.

  31. Pewter Power Says:

    A better question is why would the head coach allow it. BA should be talking to his coordinator during the game and so it’s just as much his fault as BL. Did Bruce forget hope to do actual coaching because his hands off approach is not working this year

  32. Defense Rules Says:

    Totally agree JayWill. Bucs’ offense got the snot beat out of it & didn’t respond in-kind. Same thing happened when we played the Rams, Washington & the Saints the 1st time. And that’s how you beat this team: you punch them in the face then you punch them in the face again. Good ol’ smashmouth football.

    Bucs were extremely physical & relentless in last year’s playoffs. So far this year, not so much. Maybe that’s why SB Champions don’t repeat; they forget what got them to & through the Big Dance.

  33. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Time to move on. Why is Brady great ? He moves on better than any player that ever lived. Game is over. Three to go.

  34. Bucsfanman Says:

    This team does not run a balanced offense. It is too dependent on the passing attack and teams KNOW it. What did we think the Saints were going to anticipate?!
    Why this is such a mystery boggles the mind.
    It was a terrible gameplan from jump and no adjustments were made.

    It reminds me of a saying, “Just because you CAN, doesn’t mean you SHOULD.”

  35. Listnfrmafar Says:

    DR, why is it you can trash the offense when they have a bad game but you defend the D by providing stats, DB comparisons etc.? Saints came out for blood, was it revenge for Jamais, who knows and the Bucs got literally beat up. Leftwich is not a good OC, Bucs had a number of short yardage opportunities and I didn’t see Vea as lead blocker at all. We’re we trying to save him instead for our RB’s or Brady?

    Brady couldn’t cover BL’s arse on this one. Big Poppa, it is BL/BA that set the first 10 passing plays. They through 5 long balls 2 to Darden, the first he slowed down on and Brady let him have for it. Gronk was covered on one and wide open and hit him between the numbers. The WR’S were blanketed all night and Brady took the hits for it. If the back-up receivers are not prepared, once again on coaches. End of story. Jags saw enough, Bucs still stuck with BL.

  36. crazyBucs_CL Says:

    @”..How Bad Was It?..”
    Terrible. Enough to drop on ZERO chances of BL for HC, which is bad news as well. He is going to be here next year again.

  37. Craig Says:

    You could put all of the offensive players and coaches into the same bag this week. The one with the big red L on it.

    The receivers didn’t give us a chance to start early; then Brady hit the dirt, and it was over.

    If Succop had made that FG, it might have put some heart into the offense, But that didn’t happen. Bad smell for a mile around the offense, and special teams.

  38. DBS Says:

    It was bad right from the first near pick and everyone knew it. Oh Hell here we go again!!

  39. unbelievable Says:

    The blueprint to beat us is simple?

    2 deep safeties plus hit Brady in the 1st quarter.

    Offense turns into a turtle. Leftwich doesn’t know how to adjust.

  40. C2Asante Says:

    The good news is while apparently Byron Leftwich and Bruce Arians are unqualified to coach, this message board is filled with genius level winning coaches. I’m guessing one of you experts will get that Jaguars job and probably the Bears too. Heck maybe the Glazers will read your comments and realize the incredible coaching talent they have sitting at home in Tampa.